FM Technical Profile: WWL

[ Home | Statewide: AM | FM | LPFM | Translators | TV | LPTV | LDTV ]
[ Metros: Birmingham | Mobile | Montgomery | Huntsville | Columbus, GA | Dothan | Tuscaloosa | The Shoals ]

Station Name:
Talk, News
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] Halfway between Chalmette and the NASA facility, just west of Paris Rd., near Bayou Bienvenue.
Power (ERP):
96 kW
Antenna HAAT:
984 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
HD-2: Sports and Lifestyle "3WL"
PS-WWL-FM Your News, Talk, And Sports Station
WWL-FM Your News, Talk, And Sports Station
AUX: 8.2 kW @ 630 feet.  60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
More Information:

[Picture] Image showing the RDS data decoded by a Radio Shack DX-398, showing the PS (station name) field from April 2016.
[Picture] Image showing the RDS data decoded by a Mazda OEM stereo, showing the PS (station name) field, Radio-Text and PTY (format) fields, from May 2017.
This station signed on in 1970 as WVSL-FM, companion to WBGS AM 1560.  Both stations were licensed to Slidell and owned by Bill Garrett Broadcasting.  When the station signed on, it was transmitting from a site in Slidell at Coast Boulevard and Behrman Street, just west of where I-10 is today.  From the get-go, it had 100 kW.

The station license was transferred to Mid South Broadcasters Corporation in 1973, separating it from the AM.  They changed the call sign to WXEL.  Security Broadcasting of New Orleans acquired the station in 1973.

The station flipped from whatever format it had before to Urban Contemporary in 1981, with the WAIL call letters.  Despite having 100,000 watts, the transmitter in Slidell didn't give good coverage to all of New Orleans, so the format struggled.  In 1984, the station flipped to a Soft Adult Contemporary music format as WLTS "Lite 105".  The station finally was able to move closer to New Orleans in 1986, when they signed on from the current transmitter site.

In 1999, the station (briefly) came under the umbrella of Sinclair Broadcasting, who had a gaggle of other stations in the market.  They quickly sold the station, along with everything else on radio they owned in New Orleans to Entercom. 

The station flipped formats to Hot Adult Contemporary in 2000 as WKZN "105.3 The Zone".  With this change, the station was re-licensed from Slidell to Kenner, although it didn't change anything else about the coverage or technical facility.

At the beginning of 2005, the station flipped to Classic Rock as WKBU, "Bayou 105.3".  This would prove to be short-lived, but not due to a lack of ratings.  Rather, Hurricane Katrina hit in the summer of 2005, damaging the station's transmitter facilities.  When it finally signed back in September 2005, it was running low power from a site in New Orleans proper, and relaying 870 WWL, as part of a larger effort with multiple stations to carry post-hurricane recovery news and information.  In October, the station was set to return to full power.  Entercom decided (for reasons no one to this day really understands) to swap WTKL 95.7 and its Oldies format with WKBU's Classic Rock.  So, for a period of just a few weeks, this station was WTKL with Oldies.  However, there were many requests for WWL to return to FM, with many missing the simulcast.  Entercom returned WWL to the frequency, and in April 2006, the station officially became WWL-FM.  This brought the famous WWL calls back to FM for the first time since 1980, where they had been on 101.9 MHz (now WLMG).

The station added HD digital radio in 2008; for a while they had an interesting Blues format on the HD2 called "The Delta".  That later gave way to a simulcast of the Lifestyle Talk and Sports format of WWWL AM ("3WL").  Eventually WWWL got its own FM translator, leaving the Sports and Lifestyle Talk to the HD2 exclusively. 

Entercom rebranded as Audacy in March 2021.